More than ever organisations are needing to migrate core IT services such as Microsoft Active Directory and Exchange to new domain infrastructures (“cross-forest” migrations).
The reasons for this are many – quite often organisations have been subject to merger or acquisition over the last few years but IT budget constraints have meant that there has been no scope to integrate the constituent companies’ core IT services.
There are also a growing number of infrastructures that were implemented with the release of Windows 2000/Exchange 2000, and have simply been uplifted through the various version upgrades since then. Customers are increasingly taking a look at bloated infrastructures such as these that have uplifted designs that may be outdated or even error-ridden, and concluding that the time is right to migrate to a new, green-field, fit for purpose AD/Exchange infrastructure.
Whilst over the past few years organisations may have held back from such migrations, more and more customers are realising that the high overheads associated with supporting multiple environments can now be diminished by consolidating systems. Furthermore in many cases, implementation of new company-wide business applications is often held back by the lack of a single supported infrastructure.
The problem is that migrating across to a new AD forest in this way in itself brings support overheads and risk during the migration period, and for this reason companies are often concerned by the impact such necessary projects can have on their user populations.
What are the risks?
Put simply, not consolidating exposes organisations to growing risks around supportability that only increases through each change cycle.
However the migration process itself is seen as a risk as, with the exception of all but the smallest of organisations, IT must support not only the separate systems, but the co-existence between them during the migration process.
How can you benefit as a Migration Services Reseller?
If you help your customers to migrate their systems, you will show them that you’re promoting their best interests by making sure that their systems are up-to-date and fully functional as well as being more easily supportable and flexible to change going forward.
In time, this allows you to provide further support and consultancy services to them to help them make the most of their new systems, bringing in an increasing financial return for your business.
What can Marathon Professional Services do to help you?
Marathon Professional Services has developed a tried and tested migration approach using appropriate toolsets such as Dell Migration Manager for Active Directory (previously Quest Migration Manager for Active Directory) and Dell Migration Manager for Exchange (previously Quest Migration Manager for Exchange).
By using these tools to migrate and synchronize AD data, Exchange mailbox data and other associated Exchange data (Calendars, Free/Busy, Contacts etc.), together with a set of internally developed processes and scripts, we can smooth the migration process and guarantee unbroken functionality for users as they are migrated “across the divide”.
Furthermore, using the complete set of tools such as the Outlook Client Profile Update Utility provided within the suite of Dell software products, users can maintain all Outlook functionality and look and feel even when their mailboxes are switched to a brand new Exchange environment, making the “switch” process totally seamless. Users have their machines moved to a new domain, their AD account moved to a new domain, their Exchange information migrated to a new Exchange Organization, and their client settings (including Windows and Outlook profiles) carried over, with no intervention required by the user or IT support.
It’s your job as a reseller to give your customers an understanding of the costs for different options including the pros and cons. This enables the customer to make a well-informed decision. If they choose to go ahead with a cross-forest migration using specifically designed toolsets such as those outlined above then you can complete the migration efficiently. If you don’t have the skills or time to do this then Marathon Professional Services acts as an extension of your team to get the job done - using our team of highly experienced engineers.
For more advice about cross-forest migrations for your customers, give Marathon Professional Services a call on 020 8329 1000.